NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Infrastructure delivery

Development of major infrastructure projects, such as major road and rail projects, requires development consent under the Act before projects can commence construction.

However, this approach does not apply to development activities undertaken by public authorities that are assessed under Part 5, Division 5.1 of the Act. These activities are still subject to an environmental assessment but do not require development consent.

The Environment Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 makes Division 5.1 assessments more transparent through changes such as the requirement to prepare and publish certain environmental assessment documents.

A new guideline for essential infrastructure

The department has developed a new guideline for proponents and determining authorities assessing activities under Part 5, Division 5.1 of the Act.

From 1 July 2022, the new guideline has been operational, when obligations for publishing certain Review of Environmental Factors (REF) documents for Division 5.1 activities under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 came into effect.

Download the Guidelines for Division 5.1 Assessments (PDF, 2.9 MB).

Web tool

A web tool has been developed to guide determining authorities through the Division 5.1 planning process, and facilitate publication of REF documents. Use of the web tool is voluntary. It is designed to work in conjunction with the Guidelines for Division 5.1 assessments (PDF, 2.9 MB). This web tool is accessible via login to the NSW Planning Portal. If you need assistance accessing the web tool, please contact the department.

Concurrence and notification

The changes to concurrence or notification of public authorities under Part 5 commenced from 1 March 2018, but are given effect through other planning instruments as and when required.

To read more about the changes to the Act see Part 6 – Building and subdivision.

Page last updated: 22/11/2022